From the time I was sixteen up to about 21, I worked in coffee houses; this experience turned me into a bit of a coffee and tea snob. Though I like Armenian coffee (the dark, strong brew you find in most establishments and homes here in Armenia), I don’t really like to drink it every day. I prefer to use my French press; we have one for coffee and one for tea. I know of some great spots in Yerevan to get top-quality, fresh coffees and teas.
I’ll start with coffee. I generally buy my coffee at my local supermarket, Lime. I ask for the beans to be ground on the biggest setting, which is the best for French press. This isn’t the best coffee in town, but for the price it’s pretty tasty. I think the best place to buy your beans is Café Central, on Abovian St. This is a favorite place to eat for many expats, and they really have the best coffee. They roast it right there in the little shop at the front of the café. I’m a big fan of the Ethiopia Sidamo. They can grind it however you want, but you need to specify or else you will get the ultra-fine grind used for Armenian coffee. You can check out their website http://www.cafecentral.am.
The best place to get tea is Natura Gold. This shop/café is located at 11 Abovian St. They have a really amazing selection of teas from all over the world. They also have price points to meet everyone’s budget! I recommend buying the brown sugar crystals that they sell to compliment your tea. They also have a café which has been popular with the artistic Yerevan crowd for twenty years! And if you are looking for beautiful teapots, they have those too.
Both Café Central and Natura Gold are owned by some old friends of my husband. They are all artists and actors, very interesting and great people!
If I’m leaving anything out, or you have suggestions….let me know!